A day late and dollar short I guess, but here are the awards for this week! The big thing to me was not just that there were a lot of new names excelling but that there were a lot of players that played in a way I never expected.
THE HALLOWEEN SPICE DROP AWARD OF BEING A SUPER AMAZING BAD *ANKLE*
So this award was easy for me, and usually I would give this player the Jujifruit award because they are new on the scene. Fortunately, this player made such a huge splash, and had so many big plays that are never going to show up on his stat sheet, that I had to give it to Obum Gwatcham for being in total Beast Mode all game long. While his stat sheet shows two sacks and no other tackles, Boom Boom was robbed of another sack and a great tackle by penalties.
The thing is, Obum looked like he was toying with them. Like a giant spider playing with flys stuck in his web. He was physical at the point of attack, shed blockers when needed, was violent at the point of contact and played with a certain amount of flaming hair every play. While he will play better linemen, his pad level, his extension and the way he uses his hands and arms are things that will help him against better linemen as well. His speed is off the charts for a defensive end and he has all the makings of a special player. This next week will be a big test, but I can see Gwatcham pulling in 10+ sacks this year. He got a good jump on it getting two (3) against Hawaii.
So thank you Obum, because you are an awesome guy and a great player and I have been wanting to cheer for you since you got to OSU. Thank you for making that a reality this weekend!
THE JUJIFRUIT AWARD OF RAMPANT GROWTH AND FACE PUNCHING AGGRESSIVENESS
This was also an easy one. for me as this player came out, made huge strides and showed off a physical nature i never thought he would have. Victor Bolden was electric catching the ball and running with it, but he was also punishing with his running, delivering blows to the defense as they worked to bring him down. He also blocked well and outside of one loss of focus play (dropped a pass) he was exceptional. In fact, the reason he dropped the pass, in my mind, was he knew he had a first down and he also knew was going to be able to deliver a blow.
I am not, obviously, a mind reader, so that last comment may be all lies, but the way he played reminded me of a middle school player who finally realizes he loves to hit. Bolden looked confident in his skills but also his role and his position. So he was able to go out there and just be athletic and play football. Just like his predecessor, he is improving each week. Cooks had a breakout game against UCLA in game three, so hopefully we see that with Bolden as well in two weeks.
Regardless, he looks good, fearless and fast. Who could ask for anything more?
THE GOOD ‘N PLENTY AWARD OF ALL THAT IS WRONG IN THE WORLD OF FOOTBALL AND WHY ESPN SUCKS ROCKS
This is not so much about ESPN, but I do like to throw out how much disdain I have for the leader in sports lies and skewed stories whenever I can. This award actually goes to the Pac-12 Network. I wanted to give it to the refs at the Hawaii game, but two things held me back. First, did anyone expect competent refs in this game? Hawaii never has had competent refs and to be honest, the fact that they called anything on Hawaii was a breath of fresh air.
The second reasons is that the Pac-12 Network’s suckiness eclipsed that of the refs. Look, I understand that media today is not about reporting the news, facts or what is happening, but rather to create a narrative that develops a paradigm for looking at the world. In short, news just tells people that agree with that point of view what they want to hear, truth be damned.
I just hate it in sports. Sports by their nature are exciting, I don’t have to be lied to in order to find this out. Not only that, unlike politics, sports has clear winners and losers every game. So while I understand that the Network is not about showing Pac-12 games, but rather about promoting the Pac-12 and presenting a narrative that the Pac-12 is the predominant conference in the nation.
The problem is, the play on the field will tell the real story. So while you are espousing how amazing Washington State is, you might want to also mention that they are 0-2. With all the hype they built around them, the reality plays out in the season and WSU is going to struggle. Even more as they get into conference schedules. The hype machine did a great job of getting the conference known and for getting a lot of names on Heisman watch lists and such. The thing is, the season will play out and show reality and all hype will either grow (like the ducks) or fizzle (like WSU). When it fizzles, if you keep pumping up that machine, you are going to just look dumb. That is where the Pac-12 network is now. It whitewashes issues with programs (is the State of Washington going to win many games at all this year?) and it tries to bend reality.
This is sports, not politics. As much as we want to bend reality and make our team amazing, every Saturday, they go out and prove if they are or not. To continue to talk about the ones that prove to be pretenders as if they are still elite just makes you look foolish and ruins your credibility when you are talking about teams that really are excelling. Boo Pac-12 Network, you make watching your games super annoying.